And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Ephesians 1:19 (KJV)
For all the hurting and broken-hearted out there, this post is for you…
Last Thursday was a hard day, or so it seemed at the time. A trial that has often reared it’s painful head, hit once more, and the discouragement poured over me like an unforgiving wave crashing in the ocean. In hindsight and in comparison to others trials, it seems as though it was merely a light affliction, but in those moments, fear tends to find a home in the unknown of my circumstances. Ever been there?
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV)
The thing is…I’m not easily discouraged…no, I’m feisty when it comes to fighting discouragement in sort of a “No way, you can’t get to me!” kind of way, so this unrelenting discouragement that morning really bothered me. It was like this icky THING that I just couldn’t shake off.
Truth be told, I have walked with the Lord long enough to have experienced firsthand His mighty power at work in my life, doing what only the sovereign Creator of all heaven and earth can do. Time and time again, when I have stepped into that other-worldly realm of prayer, God has reached down in real time and moved through my circumstances in a divine way. He has truly never left me nor forsaken me.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
More times than I could ever possibly recall, I have boldly yet humbly (on my knees) approached that Almighty Throne of Grace and pleaded for God’s mercy, tears running down my face, and time and time again, my Savior and my Good Shepherd has carried me lovingly home.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)
Indeed, the Lord is true to His Word…
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10 (KJV)
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6 (KJV)
One of the extraordinary things I’ve experienced through prayer is the divine, miraculous way the Lord intervenes in my circumstances, the way He steps in and takes all of the hurt and trials and not only breathes hope into my situation, but, further, he gives new life to it. I think this passage of Scripture is often taken for granted, but when you really stop to think about it, it is truly phenomenal the way our amazing God can turn our pain into beauty…if only we will surrender it to Him…
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (KJV)
We serve an incredible God, beloved. Let us never cease to praise Him for it!
Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high. Psalm 113:5 (KJV)
My Christian friends and I often wonder how people make it through life without the Lord Jesus Christ…without His Word to comfort us, strengthen us and guide us…without the POWER OF PRAYER in which to fight Satan’s onslaught of attacks on our minds and on our flesh.
Do those who walk that ever widening road apart from the Lord turn to medication, drugs, alcohol and psychotherapy? Do they continue to sink ever deeper into the pit of depression with no hope in sight?
If that is you today, I am here to tell you that there truly is POWER in prayer, and there is hope in Jesus Christ. He has made a way for all who would seek after him, and, today, He is still beckoning you to COME to Him.
There is no doubt that this world is not our home and that trials and pain are inevitable. If you are a living, breathing human being, you have experienced pain and heartache, but I’m here to tell you that if you are feeling like your resources have been tapped out, the mighty God of Heaven and Earth has something else to say about it.
You see, He…Jesus himself…yes, HE is our peace, so, of course, our enemy is going to do whatever he can to keep us from the very one WHO IS OUR PEACE.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Ephesians 2:14 (KJV)
Recognize your areas of vulnerability and set up a hedge of prayerful protection around it.
In spiritual warfare, beloved, we best take take heed not to be ignorant of our enemy’s devices.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)
As author Lee Thomas points out in his book Living the Exceedingly Victorious Life, it is worthwhile to remember:
“Satan operates in the same manner as a lion: seeking the weak, the wounded, the crippled – the most VULNERABLE!! So, if he finds a vulnerable spot in your life, that will be his point of attack.” pg. 114
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
In his book, Praying Effectively for the Lost, Lee Thomas further states:
“One of Satan’s favorite tactics is to make the situation look so impossible that we get discouraged and quit praying. The reason he does this is that he has absolutely no defense against prayer. The old saying is true that Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees. All prayer is warfare, and when you pray, Satan is being defeated even though you see no change in the circumstances.
However, if we could see what is happening in the spiritual realm when we pray, we would be greatly encouraged. Remember how God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant so that he could see the horses and chariots of fire protecting them from the enemy (2 Kings 6:17)? So, keep on praying for the lost whether you see results or not because your prayers are being answered!!” pg. 9
Another great quote I heard from a preacher is this: If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.
Hmm…that’s some good food for thought. How often are we too busy to pray?
The same goes for other areas of need in which we pray, but remember, dear friends, PRAYER IS WARFARE. It is a hard-fought battle against a cruel and unrelenting enemy, but his time is short and is drawing near to an end.
It would serve us well to always remember that the one who is in you (Jesus) is greater than he that is in the world (Satan), which is why you should take GREAT CONFIDENCE in what the Lord is accomplishing through your prayers.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (KJV)
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Romans 16:20 (KJV)
In fact, Jesus Christ not only came to set us free from sin and death, but He was manifest in the flesh that he might destroy the works of the devil.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 (KJV)
And lest we forget who wins in the end, let me remind you…
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10 (KJV)
There are going to be days when you will be attacked from all sides, and there is only One who can defend you.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24:8 (KJV)
And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Joel 2:11 (KJV)
And if you are at that gut-wrenching, sorrowful place today and you just don’t know how to pray, take comfort knowing that the mighty Holy Spirit is at work interceding on your behalf…
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 (KJV)
Stay with me here, and I’ll show you in a little bit just how the Lord interceded for me that Thursday morning and crushed the spirit of discouragement that burdened me.
In the meantime, what’s a person to do?
Press in. Keep on pressing in. Press in through prayer. Seek Him, and you WILL find him, beloved.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV)
Do you see Him standing there, beloved? As you pray, He who sits at the right hand of the throne of God is rising up to fight the battle for you.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14 (KJV)
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Psalm 24:7 (KJV)
Are you weary? Are you broken? Have you been battered in the fight?
Then, come. Come and lay it all down at the foot of the One, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shed his precious blood for you.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)
Are you having trouble hearing from Him? If you have walked in your own ways for far too long, return to Him, beloved. Go back to that place where you broke your fellowship with the Lord, and make things right again.
In speaking of the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), I recently heard a pastor note how the father was standing there watching for his son to return, and when the son returned, the father RAN TO MEET HIM and embraced him and brought him home and restored him to his birthright position as a son, BUT the father did not go into the pig-pen to get him.
You see, if you are that prodigal, know that the Lord is watching and waiting, arms wide-open for you to return to Him, but God cannot dwell where there is sin. He is HOLY and pure. BUT, He is ever watching, waiting for your return to the Father’s house. I urge you, dear friend, if you have wandered away from the Lord, return to Him. Call out to Him in prayer, repent of your sins, and come home to Him.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. Psalm 5:4 (KJV)
It is time to open up the lines of communication once again with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and take back the victory in your life. It is time to conquer your spiritual foes once and for all by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is time to PRAY.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life? Then, know this: you have been given GREAT POWER through the Holy Spirit to overcome the evil one.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (KJV)
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Ephesians 1:19 (KJV)
Let us walk as the children of God, and let us use the weapons He has freely given us. Come, let us pray!
You are no longer a stranger walking about in a foreign land. Rather, you have been adopted and are now a son or daughter of the Living God! It is time to walk in the confidence of your inheritance, beloved!
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12 (KJV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but MIGHTY through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. Psalm 95:6 (KJV)
Remember, the Lord doesn’t always show up with all the pomp and circumstance.
He often shows up as that still small voice.
Can you hear Him? He may not be in the fire this time. He may not be in the wind this time. He may not even be in the earthquake this time. Oh, but He is there!
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 1 Kings 19:11-13 (KJV)
So back to my hard day that no longer seems quite so bad…in hindsight, of course.
Knowing in my heart of hearts the Lord’s great and precious promises, in the early hours of that Thursday morning, I took up my sword…my Bible and I began praying and asking the Lord to give me wisdom regarding this certain trial.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5 (KJV)
And, yet, nothing came.
I prayed for the Lord to give me a certain passage of Scripture to cling to.
And, yet, nothing came.
I asked the Lord for encouragement, and, yet, nothing came.
One hour passed. Then two, and, yet, I continued to be met with an unusual sense of silence from the Lord…
But I knew that He would show up. He always does.
So, as I was driving to work that morning listening to an audio app of my King James Bible, I kept praying asking the Lord to help me, to speak to me, to lift me out of my discouragement. I asked the Lord to reveal to me if there was any unconfessed sin in my life that I needed to confess and make right with Him so that my prayers wouldn’t be hindered.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Psalm 66:18 (KJV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
Then, I called my best friend and prayer partner…my dear friend who I pray with over the phone each week. We pray over our families, our marriages, our vulnerabilities, our times of need and everything in between. We have been praying together like this for almost 6 years, even though our friendship goes back 16 years, and we have experienced God’s power, goodness and faithfulness through these years of prayer. The Lord has, indeed, sustained us.
Well, actually He’s done FAR more than sustained us. If you were to ask her, she would agree: the Lord has done exceeding abundantly above all we have ever asked…TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)
As a matter of fact, a couple of months ago, I sat down one evening, and just started writing in my journal all of my praises to the Lord for all of the times He had answered pray in my life. Three hours later, I was still writing. I eventually had to stop writing because it was so late at night, but I could have just kept on going. That being said, what if I had never sought the Lord in prayer? What if I had tried to do it all on my own? I have no doubt my life would be a disaster, but praise Jesus that He is a God who answers prayer!
So, back to that morning…I called my friend and asked her to pray over this trial that we have long covered in prayer. She was busy with her kids, but promised to pray. Meanwhile, I was distracted and too disillusioned at the moment to notice her being distracted, so we chatted quickly and hung up and went on about our mornings.
And then the Lord showed up…at exactly the right moment.
Just as I was pulling into my parking garage at my office, my phone started ringing as this dear friend of mine was calling me back just a mere 20 minutes later, and I’ll never forget what she said to me…
She was busting at the seems with excitement as I answered the phone, and she said something along these lines…
“Nik, I have something I have to tell you. When you first called me, I felt discouraged for you, and I didn’t know what to say. I was distracted when you first called, but the Lord placed you on my heart to pray for you in the middle of the night last night, and after I hung up the phone with you I understood why, and I knew I had to call you back today. And you know what, we are not going down today! We are not going to be discouraged! We are going UP, UP, UP, and we are going to storm the gates of heaven once again with the greatest weapon we have: PRAYER! We are not going to sink today. Oh, no, we are not going to let Satan win this one. Yes, we are going up, and we are going up to the Lord in PRAYER and in CONFIDENCE knowing that he hears us. We are going to hearken unto the Lord just as you reminded me last week. Do you remember how you told me how the Lord is our great Counselor? With that being said, can I pray for you right now?”
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
WOW. As iron sharpens iron, eh?
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
As she was praying, not only was my discouragement just plain GONE (nor did it return) but, in turn, she totally fired me up about the power of our great and awesome God!
Now, when we pray, my circumstances don’t always instantly change (although, my spirit is always uplifted), but you know what? They did that day. Whatever it was that had launched its attacked on my spirit that day, it was gone as was the trial that led up to it. Thank you, Lord!
Beloved, the Lord hears us when we call to Him!
And, then, my dear friend went on to remind me how I had encouraged her just a few days earlier (how quickly I forget) when she was having a tough day and how I had been telling her about the passage of Scripture where Jesus said that the Father always hears him, and how the Lord hears us when we call out to Him.
And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. John 11:42 (KJV)
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalm 116:1 (KJV)
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV)
I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. Psalm 118:21 (KJV)
You don’t have a prayer partner, you say?? I encourage you to GET ONE! By the grace of God, the Lord has given me a couple of prayer warrior friends along with my prayer warrior mom who I know that I can call day or night, and they will literally pray with me right then and there. What an incredible blessing it is to have friends and family like that! Likewise, I stand ready to to do battle in prayer on their behalves as well.
I firmly believe the Lord is honored and glorified when his saints come together in prayer and intercession for one another.
Further, my friend reminded me of a passage of Scripture that I had shared with her just a few days earlier about “hearkening” unto the Lord. This passage is something that I have wanted to share here ever since I heard a preacher speak on it, so I thank God that my friend reminded me of it…
In this passage of Scripture, God is speaking to the Nation of Israel. However, it is a powerful lesson to us to pray and hearken unto the Lord. Notice how the Lord carries those who hearken unto him through trouble. It’s not that we won’t have trouble, but the Lord will carries us through it when seek Him through His Word and in prayer. Praise God!
Oh, if only we would hearken unto the Lord!
Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee. Psalm 81: 7-16
I pray that you and I, dear reader, would not lose the victory in Christ through prayer that the Lord has placed before us.
In these moments, I am often reminded that there is a reason the Lord gives us such clear instruction on our weapons of spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6…it is because the war on our souls is very real. If Satan can get us to be distracted by other things long enough to shift our focus away from Jesus, he will do whatever it takes to sideline us. His goal is always to get us out of the game.
If you’re apathetic towards your relationship with the Lord, Satan is winning. If you don’t read your Bible, Satan is winning. If you don’t pray, Satan is winning. If you haven’t given your life to Jesus Christ, Satan is winning.
Why, you ask? Because he has just succeeded in breaking your fellowship with the Lord, rendering you powerless to fight the attacks on your soul, mind and body, so when that wave of discouragement comes, instead of rising up and overcoming it, you will begin to sink deeper and deeper into the depths below.
Further, if Satan can get you to believe the lie that prayer is ineffective, he has just taken away your greatest weapon.
There is a reason we are told over and over again in the Bible to pray without ceasing, and notice how praise and thanksgiving is intrinsically tied to prayer, too. There is not only power in prayer, but that power is amplified and multiplied when we add to it PRAISE.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (KJV)
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. 1 Timothy 2:1 (KJV)
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)
If you take anything, ANYTHING at all from reading this article, please understand this: YOUR POWER IS IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and when you pray, you are literally, demolishing the attacks of the devil. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you are rendering Satan powerless. POWERLESS. Is there any wonder that he would want to keep you from praying?
God moves through prayer, beloved. He rises up and fights the battles that you and I cannot fight in and of ourselves, so take hold of this mighty weapon…this glorious gift from above. May today be the day that you storm the gates of heaven in prayer!
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
To Christ be the glory!
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 25 (KJV)
Editor’s Note: As with all teachings you encounter in matters of spiritual things, including the posts you read here, I urge you with all diligence to test everything you read under the light and authority of God’s Holy Word…the King James Bible. Open your Bible and follow along, and see for yourself what God’s Word has to say. While I strive to be thoughtful, careful and ultimately prayerful about what I share on this site, I am still human, so should there ever be anything that isn’t in line with the Bible (which I pray doesn’t happen), then God’s Word is always right, and I am wrong. God’s Word is the final authority in all things.